Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says that her city has successfully raised the $50 million funding goal initiated almost 2 years ago to provide 550 homes for its homeless residents.
Atlanta has over 3,000 homeless residents and it was found that one of the biggest challenges has been to connect them to the available services to them.
To solve the problem, the city decided to integrate the rapid rehousing model which will quickly provide a temporary home to its homeless residents they could focus on rebuilding and addressing the factors that actually led to their homelessness and avoid becoming homeless again.
“It is a miss-perception that many people have: that homelessness is represented entirely by the people they see on the streets,” said Jack Hardin, Co-Chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission on Homelessness. “A far larger proportion of people experiencing homelessness have incomes and function at very high levels, but live on the margins of the economics of our society and any hardship can derail.”
About $25 million reportedly came from private organizations, such as Ameris Bank which was the last to contribute $114,000 before the city reached the goal. The other half came from the Homeless Opportunity Bond sale that began under former Mayor Kasim Reed. The city partnered with the United Way of Greater Atlanta to raise the funds.
The city announced its plan in 2017 after the city’s largest homeless shelter that housed up to 500 people a night had to be shut down due to health and safety concerns.
Bottoms shared that she is excited to finally reach the goal which was started when she was still a member of the city council. She said, “This is one of the things I had the fortune of walking into when I was mayor.”